Martin Lewis slams ‘value brand’ minister’s ‘patronising’ cost of living advice.
Martin Lewis called Government advice to those struggling to eat amid the cost of living crisis “patronising b*******” but said Boris Johnson may provide “hope” of political intervention.
Speaking on LBC’s Tonight with Andrew Marr, Martin Lewis said “ironically” the Prime Minister will be the one to provide financial help to those struggling, before the Chancellor as he is a “populist politician”.
The 49-year-old TV personality’s rant came after Environment Secretary George Eustice suggested those hit hardest by soaring prices buy value brands.
In his “tone-deaf” comments, he added it is important such people “contain and manage their household budget”.
Speaking about Mr Eustice’s comments, the Money Saving Expert said: “What is wrong is the concept that the people that are on the lowest incomes who are choosing between whether they freeze or starve, don’t know that and don’t do that, that’s the bulls***.”
Mr Lewis, who founded the MoneySavingExpert website, said the advice completely misses the point for those with the lowest incomes who are having to choose whether to freeze or starve.
He told LBC’s Tonight with Andrew Marr: “The advice is perfectly reasonable, if you are going supermarket shopping and you are buying the most expensive brands and you need to cut back, then drop down a brand level or two.
“But the idea that that is some panacea for the working poor and the non-working poor in this country who don’t have enough income, don’t know that, that’s what comes across as patronising and difficult.”
Mr Lewis said his heart breaks reading mail from people who “simply have nowhere to turn”.
He admitted the “usual tools we have no longer work” due to expenditure being so much bigger than income.
Mr Lewis added that the “simple solution” is to increase people’s pay packets.
Mr Marr questioned his guest on what measures Downing Street should be considering, to which Mr Lewis said a “social tariff for energy” with a price cap specifically for those “never able to take advantage of the market”.